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Who Is Responsible for Injuries to a Contractor?

Posted on November 23, 2022 in

If you are working as a contractor on someone else’s property and you get injured, you may have grounds to file a Scottsdale personal injury claim. Arizona’s premises liability laws hold property owners responsible for injuries suffered by contractors, in many circumstances. You may also be entitled to workers’ compensation insurance coverage, depending on the situation.

When Is a Property Owner Liable for Injuries to a Contractor?

While working at someone’s house or business, contractors have the right to expect reasonable safety. This means the owner of the property must keep the premises free from hazards and defects. Licensed contractors – including construction workers, landscapers and remodelers – who are hired to work on someone’s property are owed certain duties of care. This includes a duty to inspect a property for potential hazards, repair known defects and warn contractors of possible injury risks.

If a property owner fails to warn contractors of a known defect or risk, the owner could be held liable for a contractor’s injury. If a worker is hired to repair a broken staircase, for example, but the ceiling has structural damage and collapses during the project, the property owner can be held responsible for failing to warn the team about the structural problems. However, the contractor could not sue for injuries suffered because of the broken staircase, since the contractor was aware of this risk.

Whether or not a homeowner or business owner can be held responsible for injuries suffered by a contractor depends on if the owner was negligent. Negligence is the failure to use the correct amount of care to protect contractors, such as warning them of known safety issues on the property. If there is proof that the property owner was negligent in connection to a contractor’s accident and injury, the owner can be held liable.

General Contractor vs. Subcontractor

If a property owner hires a subcontractor directly or manages the project and does not go through a general contractor, he or she can be found liable for injuries caused by negligence. With a general contractor in charge of the project, however, the homeowner typically will not be responsible for a subcontractor’s injuries. Instead, the worker files a claim with the general contractor or manager, as this is the entity that has control over the contractor’s work.

If the worker is an employee of the general contractor (not an independent contractor), the worker could also file a workers’ compensation claim. This is a no-fault insurance claim, meaning the worker does not have to prove fault or negligence to qualify for compensation. The general contractor’s workers’ compensation insurance policy will pay for the victim’s medical bills and lost wages for an injury suffered on the job, regardless of negligence. A workplace injury lawyer in Phoenix can help guide you through the legal process after your accident.

What Happens When a Property Owner Hires a Friend?

If the owner of a property hires a friend or family member to work on a project rather than a licensed contractor, the owner can still be held liable for injuries suffered by the worker while performing the job. A personal injury claim can be filed by the friend or family member if the property owner was negligent. The worker does not have to be a licensed contractor or construction worker to be eligible for compensation from a negligent homeowner.

If an injury claim is filed against a homeowner in Arizona, his or her homeowners insurance will typically pay. The point of this type of insurance is to protect a homeowner from having to pay for someone else’s injuries out of pocket. To qualify for this type of insurance coverage, the victim has to prove his or her injuries and a connection to the homeowner’s negligence. In this scenario, the homeowners insurance company will pay for the contractor’s injuries – not the homeowner. 

If you get injured as a contractor while working on someone else’s property in Arizona, contact Stone Rose Law for a free consultation. You may be eligible for financial compensation.